Can you believe it has already been 7 months since I organised my last blogger event, the #BloggerHalloweenParty?
I always have so much fun organising them but this year life, work and travel have got in the way and I’ve not had a chance to even begin to think when the next one will be.
One thing I am certain of is that I will 100% be hosting another at some point - they’re just so much fun I can’t resist.
How to Host a Blogger Event
If you’ve ever wanted to host your own blogger event and not had a clue where to start, you’re not alone. There are plenty of places you can look to help with event organisation, including companies like One Events, however if you’re up to the challenge of doing it alone I can definitely give some advice.
My first few events were an absolute minefield and I can probably say that it took 2-3 times for me to start getting into the swing of things. So, for those wanting to start hosting events in their area, I thought I’d give some quick tips on how to get started. Like, a way to learn from my mistakes…
✔️ Think of a Hashtag
Before you plan anything else your event will need a name and hashtag, for obvious reasons.
An event hashtag helps for several reasons including letting bloggers chat before the event and ease nerves, giving brands the chance to see the buzz of the event before it happens and gives people who are not attending the chance to keep up.
Your hashtag could be completely random, but most people tend to relate to the event theme or the location. For example two of my previous ones have been #BloggerTikiParty and #WestMidlandsBloggerMeet.
✔️ Decide on a Date
The next thing you need to do is decide on a date for the event.
It’s best to have a couple of options so that when you approach venues you have more of a chance of finding somewhere.
✔️ Find a Venue
In my experience, this can take anything from two days to two months - and it’s NEVER as easy as you think it’s going to be.
I find it helps to research the venues in the area and see whether or not they have a secluded area or room that you could use. Then reach out to them either by calling, visiting or sending an email. Providing bloggers are willing to pay for drinks a lot of places are more than happy to have you along for free, others may ask you to pay a fee - which is why some blogger events end up being paid.
So far I have managed to keep all of mine free of charge, but it’s getting harder to find venues that will work for exposure alone - we all know that feeling, right?
✔️ Invite Bloggers
Now you have your event hashtag and venue you can start inviting people!
As blogger events are extremely popular I find it’s best to cap your event at a certain amount of people for a number of reasons One, it’s easier to source goody bag products and two, it means you can let the venue know how many people they can expect.
I always have a sign-up list with reserves so that I can easily replace people if someone can no longer make it.
✔️ Pick a Charity
This one isn’t for everyone, but if you’re hosting a raffle on the day it’s always nice to use it to raise money for a charity.
I’ve always picked ones that are close to my heart including Scope and Mind, however other’s (Sam and Katy) have used it to do amazing things such as a huge collection of sanitary products for those that cannot afford them.
✔️ Contact Brands and PRs
I think this is my favourite bit!
Most events tend to have a goody bag that gets given out at the end, full of products to try from different brands. Those products don’t come out of nowhere, though - it takes months of planning and emailing to contact the brands that get involved.
There are no right or wrong ways to go about this but here are a few things I find help:
- Try not to contact brands that have been in other event goody bags, it’s always more beneficial to a company that hasn’t done it before.
- Try and reach the marketing contact directly - you can find out more on this here.
- Keep track of who you’ve contacted in a spreadsheet.
- FIND GOODY BAGS - there’s no point having lots of products and no goody bags to put them in. Often brands will be willing to provide these so it’s always worth an ask!
- Don’t promise brands things you can’t deliver, especially when it comes to exposure following the event.
- Try and get a couple of food brands involved so there are snacks on the day. Cupcakes are always a winner.
✔️ Plan Activities
To help keep everyone busy on the day activities are a must. This could be anything from competitions, having brands to network with, workshops and games. We had lots going on at #BloggerHalloweenParty and the feedback was incredible as people had so much to do.
Make sure the activities encourage people to use the event hashtag!
✔️ Keep Attendees Updated
In the run-up to a bloggers event, I like to send little updates to everyone attending. It helps build excitement, encourages people to use the hashtag and keeps everyone up to date with even info.
✔️ Set up
Set up is one of the most stressful things about running an event but in those few moments, before everyone arrives and you look around, it’s amazing to see what months of hard work can lead up to.
Be sure to have plenty of hands on board to help with the set up of the event as time goes much quicker than you’d expect…
Obviously, the next part is host host host, which makes all of the stress worth it.
When the event has finished keep an eye on the hashtag for any feedback/blog posts to send to all of the brands involved. They love to be kept up to date, and although they’ll be checking the hashtag themselves, shooting the info over in an email doesn’t hurt.
So, when are you all hosting your events then? ?